Category Archives: commercial skylights

What Is the Suggested Care and Maintenance of Commercial Skylights?

What Is the Suggested Care and Maintenance of Commercial Skylights - commercial skylights - Mares & Dow

It is amazing what natural sunlight can do for an office.

Installing commercial skylights represents the most effective way to boost natural light, while reducing the use of artificial light. Artificial lighting sources can consume 40 percent of the total energy used to keep a building operating at full capacity. Installing skylights has the potential to decrease energy costs by up to 80 percent. Commercial skylights also enhance the ambiance of a workplace, which in turn boosts employee morale and productivity. Adding skylights also places less stress on the environment.

Your company made a significant investment to enjoy the many benefits associated with installing commercial skylights. Now, you have to take steps to preserve the performance of your new office addition by following a few suggested care and maintenance tips.

Follow a Regular Cleaning Schedule

Installed at the top or side of a building, skylights face several sources of dust, dirt, and grime. Pollen collects on skylights, as does the ammunition used by birds to mark their presence in the world. Following a regular schedule for cleaning skylights should be a priority, but you must follow a system that protects the integrity of your office improvement investment.

Use a soft, clean sponge or a non-metal squeegee to clean the surface of the skylights. Stay away from abrasive cleaners, as they can cause irreparable damage to glass surfaces. Instead, you should be able to get your commercial skylights clean by using clean, warm water. For more difficult stains to remove, use a non-abrasive household cleaner.

Eliminate Condensation

Depending on the type of commercial skylight, prolonged exposure to condensation can cause rust and corrosion to develop. If not addressed promptly, condensation can compromise the structural strength of a skylight. Unlike cleaning, which follows a regular schedule, you should take care of condensation issues on days when the humidity rises to an uncomfortable level. Keeping the office temperature at no more than 68 degrees Fahrenheit is another way to inhibit the development of condensation on your commercial skylights.

Frozen Precipitation

Ice dams can become a destructive problem for a roof and the same principle also can negatively impact the lifespan of commercial skylights. You must be proactive whenever frozen precipitation builds on the roof. Although a high-quality commercial skylight brand such as VELUX creates products that do a good job of withstanding the damage caused by frozen precipitation, you should be proactive and remove snow and ice from the roof immediately after it collects.

Maintenance

As with a regular cleaning schedule, you also should follow a regular maintenance schedule for your commercial skylights. Inspect the condition of the skylights every time the maintenance team inspects the condition of the roof. Hiring an experienced contractor to inspect your skylights ensures you receive a comprehensive inspection that includes examining the condition of the flashing to prevent buckling. After a severe weather event, hiring a contractor to conduct a thorough inspection of the skylights can detect any cracks or breaks that might develop into a serious problem down the road.

The Bottom Line

Installing commercial skylights represents one of the most substantial investments your company makes in improving the mood of the office. However, it is a worthwhile investment if your company takes the time to clean and perform maintenance on a regular basis.

Mares & Dow

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 37 years of installation and consulting experience.

What Are The Most Popular Types of Commercial Skylights?

What Are The Most Popular Types of Commercial Skylights - commercial skylights - Mares & Dow

If you are considering commercial skylights for your building, you have a wide variety of options and configurations to choose from that help you achieve your goals. For example, some brands of commercial skylights specialize in spreading more light over a large office to help improve morale. On the other hand, other brands of commercial skylights specialize in lowering energy costs, which during an era of high energy bills, has become a common goal among both businesses and nonprofit organizations.

What Are the Benefits of Commercial Skylights?

Is it worth the time and money to invest in the installation of commercial skylights for your building? If a growing number of businesses that have made the investment is any indication, the answer is a resounding yes.

Commercial skylights decrease energy consumption, which is a huge plus for both the environment and your company’s bottom line. Typically constructed with durable seals, commercial skylights do a great job of keeping out cold air in winter and hot air during summer. An increase in sunlight represents a cost-effective strategy to boost morale, which in turn enhances productivity. More natural light improves mental health as well. Brightening the interior of your building produces a more attractive interior, which makes the all-important positive first impression on everyone who visits your building.

The Most Popular Types of Commercial Skylights

Working with a team of certified skylight contractors can help you decide which of the following types of most popular commercial skylights work best for your building.

Architectural

Architectural skylights possess a large structural frame that contractors install into the ceiling of large commercial buildings. An architect who designs a large, open area inside a commercial building might opt to install architectural skylights to achieve the largest area of coverage for sunlight to enter a room.

Curb Mount

Not every business requires the installation of large commercial skylights. A case in point is small retail spaces, such as restaurants and grocery stores. These individual commercial skylights mount inside a raised curb to limit the amount of space taken up in a small retail establishment.

Dome

Dome skylights represent one of the most popular types of skylights for residences, but the most appropriate application is for installing them in commercial structures. This type of commercial skylight contains rugged thermoplastic that withstands strong impacts and prolonged exposure to harsh weather conditions.

Translucent Walls

In a commercial building where achieving maximum possible sunlight is the desired goal, translucent wall skylights expand the amount of natural light available for larger rooms. Translucent wall skylights brighten up public buildings such as aquatic centers and botanical gardens.

Vaulted

As one of the most complex types of commercial skylights, vaulted skylights have a series of transparent panels that are arranged in raised shapes that look like pyramids. The raised shape makes it easy to maintain this type of commercial skylight. Vaulted skylights work best in large, high-traffic areas such as shopping malls and transportation centers.

The Bottom Line

The features of commercial skylights differ in some ways from the features of residential skylights. If your company is ready to move forward with installing commercial skylights, make sure to hire a team of contractors that specialize in installing the most popular types of commercial skylights.

Mares & Dow

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 37 years of installation and consulting experience.

Traditional Dome vs. Double Dome Skylights

Traditional Dome vs. Double Dome Skylights - commercial skylights - Mares & Dow

Commercial skylights offer several benefits for businesses searching for ways to brighten up the workplace. Welcoming in more natural light enhances the mood of employees, which leads to higher productivity because of improved morale. Natural light also produces more heat that comes in handy for businesses operating in colder climates. Instead of turning up the thermostat and thus, increasing the monthly energy bill, commercial skylights act as a natural thermostat to maintain a comfortable work environment. Less energy consumed makes commercial skylights an eco-friendly addition to any office space.

Because of the many benefits, the decision to install commercial skylights did not take much time to make. Instead, the difficult question to answer is what type of commercial skylights work best for your business

Dome vs. Flat: Which Skylight Delivers More Benefits?

Although adding flat commercial skylights delivers several benefits, you can do better by installing dome skylights.

More Light Enters a Space

The primary reason for installing commercial skylights is to increase the amount of sunlight that enters an office space. With their curved surfaces, dome skylights allow more natural light into a room when compared to flat skylights. The curved design used for dome skylights bends sunlight enough to spread out the natural light for more coverage. An increase in natural light translates into enhanced employee morale.

Resists Weather-Related Damage

One distinct disadvantage of flat skylights is that they tend to collect substantial amounts of rain and snow. Accumulation of precipitation can cause lingering performance issues if you do not immediately remove the rain and snow. Once again, the curved design of dome skylights is an advantage because it forces rain and snow to slide off the surface. The ability for moisture to slide off a dome skylight ensures the light presents clarity when it lets sunlight into an office space.

More Energy Efficient

In an era of spiraling upward costs, energy efficiency remains an important consideration when selecting the right type of skylight for your business. This is especially true for restaurants that operate on razor-thin budgets. Since manufacturers use acrylic to manufacture most types of dome skylights, the incredibly durable, yet lightweight material does a great job of trapping heat. You can improve the energy efficiency of your business even more by following a helpful tip.

Why Are Double Dome Skylights Superior to Single Dome Skylights?

The more, the merrier is an appropriate euphemism when discussing the comparison between single and double dome commercial skylights. Adding a layer of long-lasting acrylic to a dome skylight boosts the energy efficiency of your business. Double dome commercial skylights trap more heat to produce a much more comfortable office environment. The additional insulation also keeps in more cool air when the Bay Area goes through a heat wave. Adding a second dome layer does a better job of preventing condensation, as well as acts as a sound barrier to prevent outside noises from distracting your team of high achievers.

The Bottom Line

You can extend the lifespan of your double-dome commercial skylights by following a few time-tested tips. First, invest in a quality material such as acrylic that withstands the worst weather and the strongest impacts. Second, follow the maintenance schedule printed on the package to ensure optimal long-term performance. Third, contact a team of professional skylight installers to install the set of double-dome commercial skylights that can improve the bottom line of your business.

Mares & Dow

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

How Skylights Can Improve Your Business’ Bottom Line

How Skylights Can Improve Your Business’s Bottom Line - commercial skylights - Mares & Dow

Commercial skylights deliver several benefits for employers that operate out of office buildings. The elegant solution for adding more light to an office space works especially well when installed in overhead spaces where they receive direct sunlight throughout most of the day. Installing skylights requires conducting a cost-benefit analysis in which the benefits far outweigh the costs. One of the benefits, which often does not get the attention it deserves, concerns saving money that improves your business’s bottom line.

In an era when inflation has taken hold of the world economy, saving money to boost the bottom line becomes an even more important management goal. Let’s see how adding skylights helps your company meet its bottom line goal.

Decrease in Energy Consumption

According to the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA), commercial and residential lighting sources consume about 10 percent of the electricity used in the country. Installing skylights, which produce more sunlight to warm up an office space, can significantly reduce your company’s energy consumption. The less energy used, the lower your monthly utility bills.

Another benefit of reduced energy consumption is your business leaves behind less of a carbon footprint.

Enhanced Productivity

One of the keys to improving your company’s bottom line involves improving the productivity of your team members. More work completed in less time equals a decrease in labor costs. Adding skylights welcomes in much more natural light to brighten often dull and drab-looking office spaces. Numerous studies have connected exposure to light with improved mood, which for employees means better moods to complete more work in less time.

Morale is the key component to increasing productivity and installing skylights represents the most effective way to improve morale by receiving much more natural light from the sun.

Healthier Workforce

Exposure to plenty of natural light reduces the level of cortisol in the blood. Excessive cortisol typically produces more stress on the body, which can cause symptoms such as bone loss, chronic fatigue, and muscle weakness. Generating more natural light ensures your team members reduce stress, which leads to healthier bodies. A healthier workforce means less money spent on healthcare procedures, which boosts your company’s bottom line.

Installing Velux Sun Tunnel skylights can improve the health of your team members.

Improved Concentration

Enhancing employee productivity is all about getting more done in less time, while improving concentration is all about limiting costly mistakes. With a more pleasant ambiance created by natural light, your team members should improve their concentration to lower the number of mistakes that negatively impact your company’s bottom line. Employees that do a better job of focusing on tasks and projects also get more done in less time.

The Bottom Line

Installing skylights deliver several benefits, but is the capital investment worth producing more natural light in your office building? Yes, you have to make an infrastructure investment that puts a dent in the company budget, but the savings your company enjoys eventually cover the cost of installing skylights. In addition to improving the bottom line by saving money, your company should also benefit from an increase in sales.

Mares & Dow

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 40 years of installation and consulting experience.

Benefits of Having a Skylight in Your Office

Benefits of Having a Skylight in Your Office - commercial skylights - Mares & Dow

Are you looking for a way to enhance the ambiance of your office? One of the easiest ways to improve the appearance of your office does not require a substantial investment. Installing one or more commercial skylights delivers several benefits that include a boost in the appearance of your professional home.

With a commercial skylight, you increase the amount of natural light that enters your office, and the addition of more natural light is a good thing for boosting morale. When your company discusses ways to increase the employee retention rate by boosting morale, you probably discuss issues such as an increase in bonuses and getting the team together once a week to participate in a recreational activity.

Adding one or more skylights can be the remedy you have looked for when it comes to boosting employee morale. Let’s review the benefits that installing a commercial skylight brings to the office.

Reduced Utility Expenses

Installing commercial skylights such as Velux Sun Tunnel Skylights can decrease energy costs by between 50 percent and 80 percent, depending on the amount of office space and the type of skylight that you install. With more sunlight entering the office, a skylight acts as an effective source of heat during the winter months. You can set the office thermostats to a lower temperature to counterbalance the increase in solar-generated heat.

Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal

Natural light refines the color of office space, as well as increases the perception of space. Sunlight does a great job of visually highlighting architectural components, especially older pieces that can look tired when placed in a darker area of the office. Enhanced aesthetic appeal does more than impress visitors to your office; it also has a significant positive impact on the mood of your co-workers.

Improved Ventilation

Offices not only can present a drab and dreary appearance, but they also frequently deteriorate in air quality. The same air gets circulated every day to create stale air that has a negative impact on work performance. Installing one or more commercial skylights allows you to improve the air circulation of the office during the times of the year when the temperatures are warm enough to crack the skylights open a bit.

Boost in Productivity

What does an improvement in morale do for your company? One positive effect is a boost in worker productivity. Adding one or more commercial skylights brightens the office to create a less stressful work environment. A less stressful work environment leads to an improvement in morale, which motivates your co-workers to work harder and improve performance.

Eco-Friendly

With much of the sustainability movement focused on other solutions, adding a skylight in the office shows your company is committed to going green. Accessing more sunlight allows your company to use less energy, which means there is more of it available for consumption. Skylights do not require energy production that harms the environment. Installing commercial skylights reduces unhealthy emissions, while meeting the demand for electrical light consumption.

Enjoy More Privacy

Although the privacy benefit of installing a skylight often is associated with residential structures, companies benefit as long as they install skylights on the roof. Close the blinds to street-level windows and you get to enjoy a natural light source, without anyone looking in to see what you and your co-workers are doing.

Mares & Dow

Contact your local skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to transform your home. We have over 37 years of installation and consulting experience.

Transform Your Kitchen with This Simple Home Remodeling Addition

Transform-Your-Kitchen-with-This-Simple-Home-Remodeling-Addition-skylight-contractor-Mares-Dow

An overlooked area of kitchen remodeling is the ceiling. Most homeowners think of their ceiling renovation in terms of paint and light fixtures. This is a limiting scope of view, as it ignores a feature that could make the kitchen feel and appear completely different: skylights.

If you don’t have the budget for a full kitchen remodel, you can still get that all-expansive feel by working with skylight contractors. With a simple skylight addition, cooking in your kitchen will be a completely different experience.

Here’s why:

Skylights make your kitchen appear larger

Home remodeling contractors incorporate natural light into their projects to make the square footage work harder. As a vital part of keeping houses from feeling stuffy, home remodeling contractors rely on natural light to shrink shadows. When combined with bright wall paint, flooring panels, doors, and furniture, skylights can make a small home feel less stuffy.

The same concept applies to your kitchen. As the heart of your home, your kitchen should make you proud and excited. In addition to owning a sharp design, your kitchen should feel large and welcoming. A new skylight can chase away the shadows that swallow up the corners of your kitchen. With more surfaces visible to the eye, the kitchen appears larger.

Skylights turn your kitchen into an energy hub

Transform-Your-Kitchen-with-This-Simple-Home-Remodeling-Addition-2-skylight-contractor-Mares-Dow

Mornings will be more enjoyable with a kitchen skylight. In kitchens with limited natural light, it can be a struggle to stay awake. You might have to turn on a few kitchen lights if you’re up earlier than the sun, and electric lights could strain your eyes. With a skylight, the natural rise and fall of the sun will guide your circadian rhythm.

Your circadian rhythm is the body’s internal clock. It uses natural light to “schedule” your body’s essential functions, such as sleeping. At about 7:30 AM, your body stops producing melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. At 10 AM, you’re at your highest level of awakeness. Your body begins secreting melatonin at 9 PM. At 2 AM, your body is prepared for the deepest sleep.

Without natural light, your circadian rhythm would be off. When you keep electric lights on past 9 PM, you’re telling your body it’s not time to sleep. If you keep your curtains closed in the morning, you’re telling your body it’s still time to sleep. This is why kitchen skylights can make the kitchen more enjoyable in the morning. The extra light will help your family stay awake even when they’ve had little sleep.

Mares & Dow are your local skylight contractors

Contact the skylight contractors at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today to install the latest VELUX models. With over 37 years of experience, we offer the best in residential and commercial skylight installation.

Commercial Skylights: How to Inspire Your Workers

Commercial Skylights: How to Inspire Your Workers - Commercial Skylight - Mares Dow

One of your responsibilities as a business owner is to keep your workers motivated. Businesses do best when their workers are inspired to work hard. While there are a multitude of ways to inspire your workers, you can always count on the fundamentals of well-being.

A basic fundamental is access to natural light, particularly during the daytime. If your office doesn’t have many windows, or is large enough that your workers are seated beyond daylight’s reach, you can contact commercial skylight installers to open up your ceiling and allow light from above.

If you’re uncertain about how commercial skylights, such as sun tunnels,  can contribute to well-being, know that they can inspire your workers in two key ways:

Natural light helps them stay awake

You can’t control when your workers sleep or if they get enough rest at home, but you can influence their sleep schedules with natural light. 

A lack of natural light interrupts the circadian rhythm, which functions as the body’s internal clock and helps determine when to fall asleep and stay awake. Relying heavily on artificial lights, which can be 250 times dimmer than natural light, further throws off the circadian rhythm. A worker who spends their eight-hour workday in an artificially-lit office might be sleepier, because their body clock doesn’t have natural light to prompt its understanding of time.

Exposure to natural light can align the body clock with the daycycle, prompting your workers to stay awake. If your workers consistently work in natural light, their circadian rhythms will shift into a more natural pattern. They’ll be inclined to sleep in the evening, and wake earlier in the morning. Some workers might reduce their caffeine intake and use your skylight as a natural energy boost.

Natural light increases their comfort 

Another way to inspire workers is to make their work space comfortable. A Cornell University professor found that people who work in daylight offices have significantly lower incidences of eyestrain, headaches, and drowsiness. People have a harder time focusing on work when they’re uncomfortable. If their discomfort is continuous, it can compound into an overall decrease in their well-being and a poor employee experience.

Unhappy workers don’t stay at businesses for long, and while they’re still working for you, they won’t be inclined to work hard for your business. By adjusting your office to increase your employees’ comfort, you show workers you care for their well-being. This can inspire them to work more productively, and to speak well about your business to job candidates.


Ready to turn your daylight office dream into a reality? Contact the commercial skylight installers at Mares & Dow Construction and Skylights today for information.

5 Ways to Boost Your Home Remodeling This Spring

kitchen remodel

Now that spring is here, it’s time to move forward with that remodeling project you’ve been thinking about for months. No matter what you have in mind, a home remodeling contractor can help you with your project. Below are five ideas for boosting your home remodeling and improving your home’s value this spring.

1. Install a Skylight 

A skylight provides an added design dimension to your home while allowing you to benefit from natural light and improved ventilation. Manufacturers now build skylights with heat-absorbing tins, insulated glazing, and low emissivity coatings to reduce summertime heat gain and eliminate wintertime heat loss.

You can also choose automated units with pneumatic devices or electric motors. Newer products now come with moisture sensors to automatically close the skylight if it rains. Skylights are fully customizable to match any roof/ceiling design or dimension. Add a skylight to your kitchen, bathroom, living room, or bedroom.

2. Build a Retaining Wall

If you are looking for a practical solution for reducing erosion or adding structural stability to your yard, a retaining wall may be your best option. If you have an elevated space, a retaining wall can help you maintain the landscape or level out your yard so that you can other features.

Some of the benefits of a retaining wall include:

  • Provides structural support that keeps soil in place
  • Prevents erosion and flooding
  • Adds more functional space to your yard
  • Adds a decorative feature with aesthetic appeal
  • Offers endless design options to suit any exterior design

3. Restore Your Foundation

Foundation problems in your home only get worse over time. They can compromise your home’s structural safety and property value. Foundation repair can restore your home’s integrity and put you back on solid ground. The sooner you address the problem the less expensive and time-consuming the project will be. 

Foundation repair can prevent damage to your plumbing or keep your home from getting flooded. A home remodeling contractor can assess your home’s foundation to determine what work needs to be done and how to move forward with the repair. Foundation repair is a great spring project that yields a high ROI for the duration of the home’s life.

4. Add a Second Story to Your Home

Did you know that it’s possible to add a second story to your home? A home remodeling contractor simply removes the roof and implements the second story to your specifications. A second story gives you more living space without moving or taking up your yard space. 

You can take advantage of the extended scenic view around your home, as you use your new space for whatever you want. Adding a second story to your home also gives you the opportunity to fix any current structural issues with the home. Plus, the added space adds value to your home.

5. Remodel Your Kitchen This Spring

A kitchen remodel is hands down the residential renovation project with the highest ROI. Renovating your kitchen presents endless opportunities to improve the floor plan, design, and functionality. You can update your floor, walls, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and other features. 

A contractor can help you create your design concepts, make recommendations on kitchen products and materials, and guide you through each stage of the project through completion. You can have the kitchen you’ve always wanted this spring.

Home Remodeling Contractor in San Francisco, California

No matter what idea you have for remodeling your home this season, Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights can help you every step of the way. We offer comprehensive home remodeling in San Francisco, California and the surrounding Bay Area. Call 925.671.9500 today for a free consultation with a home remodeling contractor.

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and siding experts. We enjoy working with homeowners as they start the process with their next project.  Contact us today to get started on your home remodel or siding project!

5 Kitchen Trends for Your Next Home Remodel

kitchen skylight-Mares Dow

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen may be the one area that requires the most light. However, keeping the kitchen bright can cause an increase in your energy and lighting costs. What’s the solution? How about kitchen skylights?

Home remodeling contractors love skylights because of modern design, easy installation, and energy efficiency. Let’s take a closer look at 5 kitchen trends for your next home remodel. Let these captivating kitchen ideas light up your room!

Single, Slender Skylight

If you have a narrow, long kitchen, you may think that there is no room for a skylight. However, the solution is to install a single, slender skylight that spans the room. Long skylights give you plenty of sunlight with balanced illumination that spreads across all four walls and the floor. 

A residential or commercial skylight contractors can easily install a single glass panel into the framework. Best of all, a single skylight makes your kitchen look more spacious. You will love the results!

Trendy Trusses

A current trend in home remodeling is adaptive reuse of existing structures in older homes. For instance, you can create a unique skylight design by preserving the trusses that are already a part of your roof’s framework. Trusses provide stability while giving your skylight an added dimension.

You can either paint the trusses to match your ceiling and skylight or stain them, allowing the natural wood color to complement the other elements of the room.  Trusses offer an affordable option that requires little effort to renovate.

Vaulted Ceilings

Vaulted ceilings create the perfect backdrop for skylights. With elevated design, a vaulted ceiling allows more light into the room while channeling the light in a specific direction. Since the ceilings are often taller, you have more room to expand the windows across a larger ceiling.

The skylights can stand out as a distinct architectural feature while enhancing both the ceiling and the rest of the kitchen. They create an ambiance that cannot be matched by interior lighting.

Match the Skylights with Other Elements

From shapes to shades, skylights present an opportunity to add a decorative element to your kitchen’s layout. For instance, if you have a largely symmetrical kitchen design, home remodeling contractors can install glass that is square or rectangular in shape. Curved lines may call for glass that has a round shape.

In addition, you can also enhance the skylights with bold colors, patterns, or textures around the framework. Add shades that match your countertops, flooring, or décor. When it comes to designing your skylights, the ‘sky’ is the limit.

Add Framework

Just like windows or door glass, skylights offer an opportunity for you to get a little creative with framework patterns and designs. Thin trim adds a subtle touch while providing structural integrity to the glass. Big, bold frames become a part of the overall skylight concept and command attention.

Like trusses, you can customize your framework to match or complement both the glass and your kitchen design. The options are endless. Home remodeling contractors can design and install your framework to your exact specifications.

Contact Your Home Remodeling Contractors in Concord, CA

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights offer quality construction and home improvement services for homeowners in Concord and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. To find out more about our skylight products and services, contact us at 925.671.9500. We can help you with all your skylight needs.

3 Limitations of Commercial Skylights and How to Avoid Them

commercial-skylights-Mares Dow

If you have read the ample literature and research on the benefits of commercial skylights for property owners and building occupants, you are likely wondering why skylights aren’t installed on every building. There are several historical limitations to skylights, but with today’s technology, there are also ways to avoid those shortcomings. Here is a look at some of the problems that plague commercial skylights and the ways innovations in skylight technology have worked to overcome them. 

“Leaky” skylights

One common anxiety with skylights is that they will compromise the integrity of the roof and let the various outdoor elements penetrate the building. If water does enter the skylight or condensation builds up, the unwanted moisture is not only a nuisance but it can also create opportunities for mold growth. Because leaky skylights have been a real problem in the past, today’s skylight models have devoted a great deal of effort to the design, engineering, and installation practices of skylights to combat this issue. Modern skylight frames and flashing are designed and tested to withstand heavy precipitation and extreme weather, while some brands have developed condensation wicking systems to mitigate interior moisture buildup. 

Surface area requirements

In order for commercial skylights to provide a consequential amount of daylight to building interiors, they can require a great deal of roof surface area. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), a nonprofit organization that certifies and rates skylights for their energy efficiency, estimates that for traditional flat skylights to provide adequate lighting they will need to occupy 7 to 10 percent of your roof space. This surface area requirement can present challenges for commercial skylight installers on buildings that don’t have that space to spare or have difficult-to-work-around roof contours and dimensions. The demands on roof surface area, however, can be lessened with some of the newer products available today. Sun tube skylights, for example, occupy significantly less space than traditional skylights while transmitting a comparable amount of natural light. These skylights are also more versatile in terms of roof placement, as they can funnel light down their reflective tubes to interior spaces that otherwise would not be able to benefit from a skylight directly overhead. 

Heat loss and gain

In the past, commercial skylights have also been the culprit in creating a heavy workload for a building’s HVAC system as it works overtime to compensate for the heat lost and gained through skylights. This can end up being a pricey unintended consequence. However, many of today’s skylights have addressed this issue by using better materials and offering Low-E coatings. A skylight that uses a Low-E coating on the glazing can reflect heat in the form of infrared and ultraviolet rays away from the interior while still transmitting the same amount of natural light. For skylights that minimize heat loss and gain, you’ll want to look for a low U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient on its performance rating. 

Mares & Dow Construction & Skylights has been serving the Bay Area since 1983.  Our general contractors are home remodeling and commercial skylight experts. Contact us today to get started on your next project or for a consultation!

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